Recommended Reading: On the implications of “devouring” literature.
Over at Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel wonders "What's Wrong with Only Reading Half a Book?" Pair with our own Sonya Chung's essay on her list of unfinished reads and the art of "breaking up with books."
Los Angeles Review of Books managing editor Evan Kindley reviews Michael Szalay’s Hip Figures: A Literary History of the Democratic Party, and says it “reminds us of a time, not long ago, when literary intellectuals set great store by mainstream political parties, and vice versa.”
“Limits stop you from living a life without limits,” writes Augusten Burroughs. “Of course, this is only an illusion. What limits really do is give you an acceptable excuse to avoid doing something.” (He’s talking about life, not Oulipo.) The piece is excerpted from his recent book, This Is How.
"Dear Marlon, I’m praying that you’ll buy ON THE ROAD and make a movie of it….You play Dean and I’ll play Sal... I'll show you how Dean acts in real life, you couldnt possibly imagine it without seeing a good imitation..." From a letter from Jack Kerouac to Marlon Brando. (via The Rumpus)
Lit-mag Meanjin Quarterly is taking a cue from The Millions and kicking off a new series, The Best Australian Fiction of the 21st Century (so far).
Booker-snubbed, but still widely anticipated, Philip Hensher's King of Badgers is out today. As are Ali Smith's There But for The, Erin Morgenstern's uber-hyped debut The Night Circus, and The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate, who wrote here about writers' work getting better as they get older.